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Why Is My Electric Bill So High?

By Edited Mar 12, 2016 2 3

Cheap Energy Bills - Is It Possible?

There may be many times throughout the year when you wonder to yourself why is my electric bill so high. In fact, some people know they are doing everything right, from installing energy saver light bulbs to reducing or eliminating the use of appliances like T. Vs, washers, dryers, heating and air conditioning units when not at home. But still there are times when you are just slammed by a high light bill. Luckily, there ar things you can do to lower your high electrical bill.

 Average Electricity Bill Per Month

 According to the U.S Energy Information Administration, the national monthly average electricity bill was $103.67 (2009 data), while the most expensive monthly average electric bill was in Hawaii at $203.94.

The reason being is that there are no pipelines in Hawaii and it must import, petroleum, used to produce the territory's electrical supply. The least expensive monthly electrical bill was in New Mexico at $63.24 a month, this is because coal produces more than 70% of New Mexico's electricity and coal is both cheap and plentiful. And for obvious reasons where you live will impact your electrical bill.

 Let's look at some of the factors for a generally higher or lower bill based on your location alone. This are all the things you DON'T have much control over in your state.

  • Type of Fuels – Coal is cheap to source, while petroleum tends to be more expensive.

  • The Weather – Ran and snow provides the water it takes to run a hydro-power plant, while extremely hot areas increase demand and price for cooling.

  • Power Plants – The cost to maintain and run a power plant can be more expensive than others given the technology used and how it's constructed.

  • Distribution and Transmission – How electricity is distributed and transmitted to residential customers varies and can be costly, thus driving up your electric bill.

  • Regulations – Many states are unregulated to an extent and can charge largely what they want for distribution and transmission of electricity, while other states are fully regulated and must comply with the PSC (Public Service Commission)

 High Electric Bill Causes

  Now let's get to the things you DO have control over in your home, to help lower your energy bill.

  1. Poor Insulation: This is on the surface is a no brainier. On the surface, it makes sense that doors and windows should be well insulated, drafts where old or hot air is allowed in can make your cooling or heating unit work harder and consume more energy. But many more people fail to properly insulate their attack. Did you know that your attack should have 12-15 inches of insulation so that your energy costs don't go through the roof literally?

  2. Outdated or Malfunctioning Thermostats: Most energy saver programs with your electric company now will let you swap out your thermostats for free. What's in it for you? Well a cheaper electric bill as many electric companies have monthly saving plans where they give you credits for using their thermostats. These energy saving thermostats are programmable too. There's no reason the air conditioner needs to run at the same temperature for the 9-10 hours a day you aren't home. Settle on a warmer temperature to keep your cooling costs down.

  3. Leaving Power Draining Appliances Plugged in For Long Periods of Time: Did you know that appliances like T.V.s and microwaves still use electrical power, even when they're turned off? During the day when no one is home, unplug the T.V., and microwave to save on power.

  4. Failing to Choose a Different Electrical Company – In many states you have a choice as to what electric company you use. Get in touch with an electric broker or agent to figure out how you can get the best electric monthly rate if your light bill is too high.

 At the date of this publication, you can live in the following states and choose your electric company for transmission and or distribution:

  • Connecticut
  • Delaware

  • District of Columbia

  • Illinois

  • Maine

  • Maryland

  • Massachusetts

  • Michigan

  • New Hampshire

  • New Jersey

  • New York

  • Ohio

  • Pennsylvania

  • Rhode Island

  • Texas

Follow the above steps in the article and in the next few months you won't have to ask: why is my electric bill so high?



Apr 3, 2012 10:09am
I took a good look at my electric bill recently and discovered to my horror that 75% if it is fees and taxes. My actual electricity use is a very, very small part of it. I'm in Michigan, so now I'm thinking of looking into other electric companies. I didn't even know we had choices!
Jun 8, 2012 1:16pm
Leaving the TV on standby is never a good idea. These things silently suck up energy and boost your bills. nightmare.
Apr 6, 2013 5:20am
Thanks for the information! Great article!
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